The Instrospective Conscience of the West

Krister Stendahl’s 1963 essay The Apostle Paul and the Instrospective Conscience of the West was a clear foreshadowing to the modern New Perspective on Paul movement. Stendahl’s controversial article is available here. Stendahl concludes:

Thus, the theologian would note that the Pauline original should not be identified with such interpretations. He would try to find ways by which the church – also in the West – could do more justice to other elements of the Pauline original than those catering to the problems raised by introspection. He would be suspicious of a teaching and a preaching which pretended that the only door into the church was that of evermore introspective awareness of sin and guilt. For it appears that the Apostle Paul was a rather good Christian, and yet he seems to have had little such awareness. We note how the biblical original functions as a critique of inherited presuppositions and an incentive to new thought. Few things are more liberating and creative in modern theology than a clear distinction between the “original” and the “translation” in any age, our own included.

My friend Bill DeJong offers a response to Stendahl here.

About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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1 Response to The Instrospective Conscience of the West

  1. Pingback: introspection, courage, and shame « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality

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